Read news release from Diocese of Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Read news release from Diocese of Spokane

Posted: Updated:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To: News media

From: The Catholic Diocese of Spokane

March 8, 2006

The Diocese of Spokane today announced that an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor has been received against Bishop William S. Skylstad as part of the proof of claim filing process in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The alleged abuse occurred in the early 1960s.

Bishop Skylstad categorically denies the accusation. “I have kept the promise of celibacy that I made when I was ordained a deacon 47 years ago,” he said. “I hope that the Spokane community will join me in praying for all those who have come forward to report sexual abuse. Please pray for me as well.”

The internal protocols of the diocese regarding reports of sexual abuse are being followed. The Diocesan Review Board has been advised of the report. The Vatican Nuncio in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Pietro Sambi, has also been advised of the accusation

Because of the potential emotional fragility of individuals who have suffered sexual abuse, the Bankruptcy Court has ordered that strict protocols of confidentiality be observed by all parties. Therefore, there will be no further comment at this time.

Besides his role as Bishop of the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington, Bishop Skylstad is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served as Bishop of Spokane since 1990.

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